It was Chretien Garbe who wrote, "Not since the infected rejoined society have we been so under threat… Never did lycanthropy seem as dangerous a weapon until wielded by Geoffroi Malone… Werewolves of Paris... He is no saviour of the people. He is using you... He is vicious…an animal. If his ambitions are fulfilled, France as we know it will be nothing but ash and rubble." Page one.
The hollow sound of a fist hitting a skull. It echoed through the room. No longer the skin on skin slap of harmless violent treatment. This was the bloody crunch of cruel abuse, serving as intermission between pleading cries for mercy and frothy recitals of that sacred line. I have a family. Please. I have a family.
One man in black grows tired. Rubs his knuckles. Another man in black steps up to take his place. Neither knows how long they've been in this room. A room so dark it is to be left without description. Their instruments of torture are swollen, their knuckles scraped and covered with a mixture of their own blood and his.
As the bigger man circles off, he curses softly and sucks gently on his middle knuckle – peeling a small piece of his own flesh off with his teeth. The smaller one pulls his elbow up and delivers a sickening strike to the forehead of the man handcuffed to the chair. Blood and saliva fly off his lip into the air and splatter on his assailant's cheek. His face is bruised, broken and hot. It burns from the impact of every hit, but what keeps it hotter is the blood. It comes from his broken nose, from cuts above his eyes, and from his cheeks. It dribbles out of the corners of his mouth. It bubbles up from places where teeth used to be. Teeth that are now scattered on the floor, or are slivers buried in the flesh of those shark men that circle.
Now you hear about all this, this graphic scene of sadistic behaviour, and you wonder to yourself what can this man have done to deserve such a beating? What did he do that necessitated him being handcuffed to a chair? What misstep must he have taken in life to earn the wrath of these men in black? That question presupposes that he did something to deserve it, reader. It assumes that a person can do something that deserves this sort of brutality – and high morals tell us that is not true. Which tells me that you are not of high moral fibre. Your curiosity came before your sympathy. You're not asking yourself how is he going to get out, you're asking yourself why he's here and what he did.
That means that you sympathize not with the man in the chair, but with the man across the room. The sassy, svelte, red-headed gentleman in the suit. Sitting, tail across his lap on the other side of a desk. Calmly writing on a piece of paper, hooked black claws not interfering with graceful pen motion. He feels no pain. He feels nothing but satisfaction right now at a job well done. Perhaps a debt is being paid, a need is being filled, a message is being sent. You don't know, but you want to. You want to know the thoughts not of the man on the bottom – the pitiful protagonist of his own story about to kick a very agonizing bucket. You want to sympathize with me. The antagonist – of every story but this one. You want the key to the mind of a man who watches another man get pummelled to death. A man who keeps two other men who could, on most occasions, be perfectly human acting like perfect dogs. Keeps them lunging while they're whole hand pulsates with a numbing ache and their consciences are begging them to stop. And of all these men in the room you're wondering at my justification – already assuming I have one and am in the right. You sick little puppy…you've come to just the right place.
I am Geoff M. Malone. These other two men are—
"Duke. Rhoth. Take a rest. I can't hear myself think."
Forgive me, reader, for I have sinned. These shall be my only confessions.
I am writing in response to the recent and unfortunate success of such premiere romans as Andre Chiasson's The Malone Wolf and Chretien Garbe's Our Great Mistakes; Geoff Malone and the Disgrace of the Modern Werewolf. Both are currently considered the definitive works on my lycanthropic brethren and myself and have thus had the honour of shaping public opinion. This is a lamentable state of affairs, as neither Monsieur Chiasson nor Monsieur Garbe had spent any time either with me or my disease before publishing these works. They feed you inaccurate and distorted information, my reader, and so their work is at best half truths and at worst a well weaved webbed of lies. Thus, it is with only your best interest (all our best interests really) in mind that I have decided to cast off my self-imposed silence. You and I should know each other better, Reader. I think that if we do, to your great peril, you may come to like me.
What I offer you, my much beloved, is not necessarily the truth as it will be known. It is my truth. The internal truth. The truth contained within me. Cut me to my core – disembowel me, reader – and divine from all that pours out what the world has known of me, done to me, seen me do. That is what you find here. All conventional truths and honesties forgotten, here lies what you see with your heart, smell with your guts and hear vibrating around in your bones. Unlike the false memories of those hacks and theorists, my memories bled – once upon a time. Now from their fading scars comes nude factuality.
"Alright, gentlemen," I say as I take my feet.
I step across the room, the gentle tap of my shoes and cane cutting sharply through the quiet. The only sound that sometimes mixes with their ominous soft patter is the sound of our captive coughing. His barking chokes and heavy breathing make mute the sounds of my movement, but before long I am upon him. The two great shadows who wear his blood on their hands and their clothes part to either side, watching him with grim faces as I take the fore.
This, my reader, is the man Chretien Garbe. Renowned author, and vicious slanderer on the subject of werewolves. Yours truly in particular. Since the publication of his work began, he has hindered my every campaign for werewolf equality with fiendish determination. It has been impossible to speak with the politicians with whom I am allied, as they fear notice and scandal. It has been impossible to make speeches to the larger public without being dogged by the anti-werewolf academics; that seem only capable of pulling their noses out of propagandist reading material just long enough to stick it in my business. Garbe has hindered my movement with his false accusations and his racist assumptions. He has penned my frustrations, but for the last time.
I reach inside my coat and wrap my fingers around the trigger of a very understanding little lady. A gas powered woman, model Desert Eagle Mark VII. She has a soft grip and a loud voice, but she whispers when she talks to me. She begs to help send away the headache this urchin has caused me. I draw her out and point her at the face of our enemy. He whimpers no. She thunders yes.
Rhoth flinches back just slightly as a cascade of evil thoughts blast out the back of Garbe's skull. Garbe's chair tips over. The gun gets replaced.
"Don't worry gentlemen. Soon France as we know it will be nothing but ash and rubble."
Good reader, shall we discuss how it has all come to this?